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Front Sight’s floridly named Dr. Ignatius Piazza sent me an email blast this morning – as he does most mornings – with links to two pro-gun “Superbowl ads.” [Warning: Dr. P’s website autoplays audio.] Piazza claims he “couldn’t get the ad agency to even review the ads for placement.” Be that as it may, the above ad is interesting in that it doesn’t show a firearms-related solution to the threat of home invasion. On one hand, it’s based entirely on the fund-raising scare tactics the NRA’s been using for donkey years. On the other hand, why not? A gun is the most effective counter to a threat of death or grievous bodily harm. Clever how you don’t have to see it to get it. Maybe this is the better tack for pro-gun promotion. I mean, if the antis can wave the bloody shirt with impunity to crank up the FUD, why shouldn’t The People of the Gun tell it like it could be to scare fence straddlers into joining the fold?

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  1. To Shannon watts the guy in the commercial was a hero. What did the fate of his wife and implied fate of his daughter mean to the likes of her? Nothing, so long as the bad guys weren’t injured and the homeowner didn’t use a gun to fight back.

  2. it didn’t stop the NFL from featuring an ad for a TV show (24) with a long sequence of an HK pistol being racked up-close in full HD, then another one with Kiefer Sutherland firing it blindly at something in slo-mo, with cases ejecting out the wrong side.

    but you know, Jack Bauer is a trained professional, not just some fat old white guy.

  3. This is a great example of why the police cannot help you even if they were legally required to. The attack was over in the space of a commercial.

      • And … the police are not required to help a victim or potential victim, even when the victim has a restraining order in place against the assailant.

        Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 2005:

        “We decide in this case whether an individual who has obtained a state-law restraining order has a constitutionally protected property interest in having the police enforce the restraining order when they have probable cause to believe it has been violated.” (I added the bolding – to me, this is a significant qualifier that Scalia added there)

        And the answer for those who don’t have the time to read it? “No.” In legal-lingo, the nut of the issue comes down to these words:

        “We conclude, therefore, that respondent did not, for purposes of the Due Process Clause, have a property interest in police enforcement of the restraining order against her husband.”

        That’s it. If, even with a court order, you cannot place not one, not two, but three calls/contacts to the police, asking them to enforce a RO against someone, and expect results, then the police are without any responsibility for your safety at all.

  4. Wow. The only problem I have is the mis-timed metronome in the ending sequence. It triggered my OCD.

    Although I can’t believe there wasn’t something more substantial than a cande holder behind the door.

  5. Didn’t view the ad but my opinion is if you have to lie or scare people into agreeing with you, your position sucks to begin with.

    • You are assuming people are intelligent and will understand a reasonable argument.
      Sheep have 2 speeds, Grazing and Stampede.

    • The ad is not a lie.

      It’s just a moderately graphic depiction of a home invasion with some very dark implications at the end for what can happen to a family not equipped, or willing, to defend itself using the best tool(s) for the job.

    • Generally speaking I agree with you, but I’m starting to teeter on the fence….

      I used to say the EXACT same thing: facts win an argument against an indefensible opinion every time. Eventually people will see B.S. for what it is, recognize the facts, and agree with the factual point of view.

      I’m not so sure anymore. If facts were all we needed out argument would be “Because. Shall not be infringed.” End of discussion.

      Maybe I don’t have enough understanding of the human psyche. I see us gaining ground in areas and losing in others. And the facts seem to be falling on deaf ears, or ear with fingers in them while their owner sings “lalalala”….

      It’s discouraging. I’d like to take the high road and continue to fight the fight on facts alone, but I’m slowly coming to the conclusion that it’s just not possible anymore.

      • You can make a factual and emotional argument without lying. That Farago seems to imply that the NRA has basically been using agitprop, as he likes to call it, quite a bit to rile their own members is telling.

        It’s why I think a more than a small amount of NRA members hold their noses in regards to the NRA even if they are the best thing gun owners have going to defend their rights.

      • I wasn’t saying I think the ad is a lie. I didn’t watch it. My point was don’t take the tack of the antis. The facts, to some, are scary enough, hence the “la, la,la, I can’t hear you” effect. Or the non-conversation types like Mom Mayors for Illegal Action. I’m smart enough to know when I’m being lied to or someone’s trying sway me with emotion. And it pisses me off. If you don’t treat the fence sitters with some modicum of respect, you will piss them off so even if they agree they won’t care. Because they were lied to.

        “Who you are speaks so loudly I can’t hear what you’re saying.”
        Ralph Waldo Emerson

      • I work in marketing. I can tell you, FACTS almost NEVER make a sale, or in this case make someone anti of pro gun. EMOTIONS DO. I can’t remember the exact amount but something like 90% of people act on emotions not on facts. The 10% who do are a bit of a minority unfortunately. It has to do with brain function. The sections of the brain that deal with decision making is also linked strongly to emotion. The section that deals with fact comes second and has less of an influence EVEN IF A PERSON KNOWS SOMETHING IS GOOD OR BAD THEY WILL FOLLOW THEIR EMOTIONS 9/10 times. It’s unfortunately the problem we deal with. We have all the facts on our side but we have never presented a strong emotional argument compared to the antis.

        • “The sections of the brain that deal with decision making is also linked strongly to emotion. The section that deals with fact comes second…”
          …and if I flip the light switch in my kitchen, the toilet in my master bedroom flushes.
          That gross mischaracterization of brain anatomy and neurophysiology notwithstanding, you observations about human behavior are true.
          (hey….. what?…. I can’t only be pedantic about AKs….)

          I remember a news blip some years ago when Martin Sheen was protesting some Santa Monica ordinance that prohibited homeless people camping out on the beach. He was leading a group of people, carrying a 4 foot crucifix (so… yes, he was dwarfed by it) and had duct tape across his mouth.

          Great visual.

          (he then retreated to the comfort of his home, featured in Architectural Digest, after the protest was over).

      • It never was possible to win on facts alone, especially with large audiences. Emotions are much more powerful, and if effectively mobilized, can overwhelm any factual argument.

        Arguing on an emotional basis isn’t a low tactic of the anti-rights lobby — it’s an essential piece of any effective message.

        Using emotion to obscure an unsupportable argument and justify appalling abuse of power — that’s what our opponents do, and what we won’t be doing, because unlike them, we actually have facts to back up the emotional appeal.

        This is a good start. (The sales pitch at the end is way too heavy-handed, but the emotional element is right on.) There are legions of fence-sitters who might start seeing our point of view if they could only see its emotional force. We need more of this sort of thing if we’re going to win, and we need it done even better.

      • Winning the argument with logic is NOT the same as changing someone’s opinion.

        How a Liberal feels about something is impervious to logic.

        Liberal opinions and positions are based on emotions, not facts or logic, and they “reason” backwards from their emotional response in order to shore up their political position. It is a complete waste of time to attempt to use logic to change a Liberal’s opinion. You cannot “logic” someone out of a position they did not arrive at through logic in the first place, and conservative logic is by default “wrong” at any rate.
        (Not mine -gleaned from the Internet.)

        • That’s spot on. When it becomes obvious that someone’s opinion originates in emotion and ‘facts’ are merely props to support those emotions; discussions based on logic/reason/facts are pointless. Emotional ‘reasoning’, magical thinking, and black & white thinking are hallmarks of the hardcore liberal mindset. Much like a spoiled or maladjusted child, they will be motivated to ‘get their way’ and perceive their surroundings in a way that supports their feelings. Frankly, it is so rooted in emotional dis-regulation that I seriously doubt that the most extreme individuals are even capable of seeing truth. It would knock the pillars of their psyche and mentally unbalance them. This can only be combated in early childhood as that is where the root of this dis-regulation takes hold. It’s a personality disorder or at least has shades of one.

          The rub is in discerning if the individual is truly so affected at the level of personality or if it is merely learned behavior. Often, the probable answer to that question is evident early in conversations. Trying to get through to the former is a lost cause without CBT/DBT whereas the latter are capable of enough self-examination to perhaps use logic/reason/facts to change their own emotions on the subject. Nobody can make another ‘feel’ something. Responsibility for ‘feelings’ rests with the individual. The deciding factors include willingness to change, ability to change, and opportunity to change. Provide the opportunity but when there is an obvious lack of willingness and/or ability to change; it’s time to move on.

  6. I think that is a pretty poignant commercial, which may in fact jar loose some of those aforementioned fence sitters. I don’t think you can watch that without thinking about your loved ones and wondering “what if?” and thinking about your plan for such a situation. For me, the answer is clear-230 grain JHP.

  7. the good doctor should send a copy of the tape to Shannon Watts (holla if you need her home, I mean corporate addy) with the note “Welcome to the unwashed masses. WHen Bloomy drops you as his B!tch and the armed security detail gets pulled, have your hubby John call to schedule his class.” 🙂

    • It’s funny, it was still on their website up until the MAIG buyout merge. Must be a legal deal that they don’t have to provide it anymore….luckily the State of Indiana still does 🙂

      • they are incorporated in IN. If she wants the info to come down, she has to change state of incorporation. ok, I lie. It is the internet. Things stay up forever, and it is part of an official state record. Like herpes, it is there until you die. But don’t worry Shannon – Dirk is drug and disease free. 🙂

  8. This ad has the same problem as the first – ITS A DOWNER! Even if they had to money to by the airtime (which I doubt) they wouldn’t have been accepted. Listen guys, there is plenty of anti-gun agitprop to rage against without tilting with every windmill that vaguely resembles an ANTI.

  9. it was a decent depiction! but 98% of the people who have never worked a day in their lives, will view it as Propaganda, against their Gravy train, so will nay say it just not too lose their free ride from the Rich and Super rich {Bloomberg,} which brings up another theory about this lady that was shot in the head, going from doorstep too door step charging big bucks for her and her husbands Dog and Pony show, so a better tack would be too expose the pay scale for their appearances publish it then make statement about it { ladies and Gentlemen in this corner we have, paid big bucks against the Constitution of the US and in this corner we have people for the Constitution,} eh whats’ that, you say you don’t know what the Constitution says? maybe get a Government interpreter { low life that spread government propaganda cause their job depends on it }
    high Paid Quislings!

    • I was shocked recently to see a clip of the Mark Kelly Exploitation 2014 Roadshow, in which poor Giffords appeared, obviously coached to give a vague but enthusiastic Shirley Temple impression. It was just so sad. They’ve both got pensions. Why is he doing this to her? Brutal.

  10. I always thought that Dr. Ignatius Piazza was a name so unbelievable that it had to be made up.

    If I came his website as a gun newb (which I think I did once upon a time back in the day), my immediate thought would be that it ticks pretty much every box I have on my “this is a full of shit website” list. Less than idea layout, obnoxious colors, clear signs that the guy in charge is really proud of himself, of course the “it has to be farcical” name, and finally way-too-loud autoplay audio. All of that combined would make me click the “Back” button immediately if not sooner, and not come back.

    • Oh, and I’m really getting tired of the “unaired superbowl ad” or the “superbowl ad that was too hot for tv” schtick. It worked really well the first couple of years when nobody’d caught on yet, and it’s possible that some of them in those years were actually unaired or “too hot for tv.” But now it’s just a complete marketing gimmick, the ads are made with no expectation of ever being released on TV. People slap that label on anything, y’know?

      (By the way, apropos of nothing whatever, here’s my Unaired Ad! for the HyperPet Squirrel squeaky toy for dogs. It was turned down by the NFL because they hate dogs! Please excuse the raw video, but when the heartless NFL bastards turned me down, I decided not to put any more money into post-production.)

      Just like everything else I said about his site, the fact that he labels these as “unaired superbowl ads” just reinforces my idea that he’s not someone to place a lot of faith in.

      • It costs $4M to air an ad during the Superbowl.

        It costs $0M to label your ad as a “controversial un-aired Superbowl ad blah blah blah”.

        Show me the money or it never happened.

        Besides, no matter how much the choir likes to think otherwise, ads like this do little more than preach to the choir. If you actually wanted to reach the masses, fence sitters or whatever, you’d film this ad like a Michael Bay flick with lots of gunfire, an explosion and a happy ending where the homeowner guns down the villains and is declared a hero in the local newspaper.

        • Plus lots of hot chicks in skimpy attire.

          They should make gun commercials like Axe commercials. 🙂

    • I used to be on his mailing list. Then one day, I sent him a thoughtful response to one his political rants. I was polite, deferential, and open to debate. So of course, he deleted me from his mailing list.

      Heck of a guy.

      • I deleted myself due to the constant barrage of email. I think they have a good program-I just got tired of seeing the same “closeout offer” pitch in different shades week after week.

    • I thought it was made up and he is way over the top. However, Frontsight is a really cool place with a lot of great instructors. I really enjoyed the class I took there, going to take some more later this year.

      • I have (since my first impression) heard things that lead me to believe what you say is true. Which makes it doubly unfortunate that his site is such a trainwreck on the initial visit.

        • Right. There are two sides to that coin.

          On the one side, there is the over-the-top marketing and terrible website.

          On the other, Front Sight offers lots of good classes, the training is good, and Piazza is truly a very staunchly pro-second-amendment guy.

  11. “I mean, if the antis can wave the bloody shirt with impunity to crank up the FUD, why shouldn’t The People of the Gun tell it like it could be to scare fence straddlers into joining the fold?”

    Besides dignity and self respect? How about intellectual honesty?

  12. RF said tack, rather than tact. Armed Intelligentsia, indeed.

    Yeah, I saw that ad. At least it’s not a “do what they say, then call the cops when they leave” piece.

    I’ve convinced a number of customers to get a gun so they’ll have something to do for a few hours between when the siren is heard inside and when sirens are heard approaching. If only I could convince them all…

    • Oh, I love it when people get grammar-sanctimonious and they’re friggin’ wrong. It just rustles the hell out of my jimmies.

      Maybe this is the better tack for pro-gun promotion.

      Tack is exactly the right word for that sentence. It’s a nautical term, and it refers to a change of direction. Robert was saying that “if that isn’t working, maybe this is a better direction to take.”

      • Uh, no.

        Tack is a small broad headed nail.

        Just kidding, but tack is a verb when referring to sailing, so it’s still not right.

        He meant tact, which means a keen sense of the proper direction to go about things.

        • Tack is a verb or noun, depending on usage. You can tack (verb-take a new direction), or you can be on a tack (noun-the leg that takes you into the wind).

          Tact is not simply the proper direction to go about things. It’s the sense of how to handle sensitive issues… sensitively. How to do things in such a way as to avoid offending people. When read together with the next sentence,

          Maybe this is the better tack for pro-gun promotion. I mean, if the antis can wave the bloody shirt with impunity to crank up the FUD, why shouldn’t The People of the Gun tell it like it could be to scare fence straddlers into joining the fold?

          it’s clear that worrying about offending people is exactly the opposite of what he’s doing. He’s talking about scaring people straight, which is precisely the opposite of tact.

        • That still doesn’t make tack the right word to use.

          Perhaps tactic would be a better word choice.

        • Tactic might be, but that wouldn’t carry the same implication of a change in direction. Which is why you use tack. On a sailing ship, it’s a change of direction. In what you’re doing, it’s a change of direction. A new tactic could be different than what you’re doing, but still in a similar direction. Taking a new tack implies you’re trying something new that is the opposite of what you’ve been doing. In this case, the pro-2A side has consistently tried to win the fight using hard, emotionless facts, while leaving the emotional appeals and fearmongering to the civilian disarmament movement. He’s saying maybe our side should try the scare tactics a little, and maybe move a few fence-sitters that aren’t being swayed by the facts. Doing that would be a radical change in direction, ergo a new tack.

        • Matt in FL, you do understand that you are debating grammar and vocabulary with a person called “Manimal,” right?

          That’s like trying to teach calculus to a sow.

        • Tack is the perfect word in this case.

          It’s part of my job (my profession, not any assumed internet role) to know these things. It’s also part of Matt’s job here at TTAG to know these things (and know them he does).

          But if my verdict isn’t enough, maybe you’ll believe this: Consult any usage guide you want; they’ll all give the same basic answer to the tack vs. tact question.

        • “Tack” is simply a synonym for direction in the vocabulary of salts, as in “try another tack” or “just tack away,” though it derives from a reference to the hardware on the lower course of square-rigger sails. And if RF says “you’ve got to duck if you’re going to jibe” will we descend again into etymology? The fact that these rhyme with ‘shuck’ and ‘jive’ is accidental.

          OED 6a: A ship is said to be on the starboard or port tack as the wind comes from starboard or port. At each change of tack, the relative positions of the tack and sheet of the courses are reversed.

          It isn’t RF’s fault that he grew up and lived too long on the New England coast. I sent my son to Camp Monomoy for years, and he still calibrates my alcohol intake by number of “sheets to the wind.” (I rarely reach three.) That’s not “sheet into the wind,” BTW.

      • Um, I was expressing my gladness of heart to see the correct word used; I know it’s tack – a nautical term come to wider use, in this instance a particular response to prevailing conditions.

        “Armed intelligentsia, indeed” was not sarcasm, but approving acknowledgement.

        Grammar sanctimonious I’ll grant, but not [in this instance] wrong.

        I’d thought that by this time you knew me better. <Sniff!>

      • Picatinny and red dots have no place on a Kalashnikov (NOT “Klish-nee-koff”, or “click-knee off”) pattern rifle…..

    • intransitive verb
      a : to tack a sailing ship
      b of a ship : to change to an opposite tack by turning the bow to the wind
      c : to follow a course against the wind by a series of tacks
      a : to follow a zigzag course
      b : to modify one’s policy or attitude abruptly
      The way I read it, Robert’s use of “tack” was both intentional and correct.

  13. For me, it just illustrates why we need back up strategies. Many families with children utilize gun safes. I do and I don’t have kids.

    If you don’t have time to get your gat, have something handy to use as a weapon.

    I thought that while it raised some good points, it was cheesy overall. That could very well be why it didn’t pass muster.

    • Well, I do use a gun safe, but if I heard a strange noise in the night, I’m grabbing the heater first, then opening the door. Plus the dogs of course would be going nuts, but that’s a separate matter.

        • unless the little buggers are screaming in which case, the noise gets tiresome and you plug the holes until they pass out – I mean fall asleep.

        • The little holes in my safe are in the bottom, so that the bolts could anchor to the concrete floor. Is this a defect? Should I insist on holes in the back? The kids don’t seem to mind it as is.

        • I always assumed the holes in the bottom were for air, the ones in the back for food. Maybe I’m doing it wrong…

      • Best, tear-streaked laugh I’ve had in days!

        There is something seriously wrong with you, Ralph, and apparently with me as well.

  14. It’s about sales, not marketing. You sell the sizzle, not the steak. In other words, let’s use multiple strategies. Some people will be scared over to our side. So what? If that gets some people who would not otherwise be disposed to jump over to make the jump, use it. One size does NOT fit all here.

  15. all things considered, this video makes a good example of the saying, “when seconds count, the police are only minutes away.” Yes, it’s cheesy. Yes, it’s over the top. And unfortunately, no, it probably won’t sway any opinions because the anti-gun crowd is firmly convinced that something like this simply cannot happen to them. Until something unpleasant and violent happens to them or to one of their close friends, it is unlikely that opinions will change.

  16. I don’t really have a problem with the ad. People don’t want to think about guns, or watch commercials like this, because they do not want to think about being in that situation. Who does? Would you protest an ad in this style selling fire extinguishers, or a medical alert service? Car insurance? Seriously, what is actually missing from the ad is a bit of humor ala the Allstate Commercials.

    [scene of elderly lady in kitchen] My kids worry about me living by myself. Living on my own, people think I cannot handle myself and look at me as an easy target to steal prescriptions.That’s why I carry [pulls out a Sig Sauer P229] this, in my home. [cut to grandma at the range, she just put a nice group of lead downrange] With over 3 million rounds of US government testing I know I can rely on it.

    [cut to burglar peering in elderly lady’s window. Sees outline of gun. turns to run and slips on flower pot with a cactus, getting stuck with needles]

  17. I have to agree, looking at the ad, that Piazza clearly underplayed it. No screams?

    After all, such events have happened. And remember, “the probability doesn’t matter. It could happen in places you go everyday.” Dunsky made that clear.

    A guy’s got to make a living.

  18. I wonder about the other elephant in the room: video games. Most people have seen the ultra violent “It’s a perfect day” trailer on TV. Hey, I love the ad but I’m surprised some of the notable anti groups haven’t crucified Sony for it…

  19. Maybe 10 years ago I signed up for Dr. Piazzas’ s Front Sight information and news letter and it took half that many years too stop the phone calls, letters and emails from him. He’s almost as bad as AARP.

  20. Have you seen the ADP commercials? While not as graphic, they use FUD to sell alarm systems. Might as well use it for a pro-gun message.

    I rather have an NRA commercial that more like “[cut to real-life DGU person who says] I am a survivor, and the next one and the next one. And the final message, I would not have been alive today if my guns had been taken away. The SCOTUS has said that the police have no duty to respond, you are the first responder”

    But, then we are all dreaming. No matter what the NRA does, the networks will either refuse it or jack it up in price higher than a Super Bowl ad.

    The anti-gun crowd will always get their message out by censoring any decent.

    Which is why, there can never be any compromise as long as there is only a one way conversation. Block the blog comments, block the commercials, do your little dance, gun owners are committed to the fight.

  21. I just watched that with my daughter on my lap and I felt the urge to cover her eyes. That was a little intense for a prime time commercial, no matter what it was selling.

  22. “On one hand, it’s based entirely on the fund-raising scare tactics the NRA’s been using for donkey years.”

    Ok, I’m pretty sure the original phrase was “donkey’s ears” and it’s long since been bastardized into “donkey years”, but that’s ok.

    The main thing to remember is that donkey ears are tasty something fierce! Especially Tijuana-style, whatever that means. Oh sure, not quite up to St. Louis snoots level, but still something to savor. I’m just sayin’.

  23. That was a good ad and very true as well. It’s called preparedness. Statists don’t like to be prepared for anything.


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